The 27-year-old man charged with assaulting the 2-year-old son of Adrian Peterson has a history of violence against women and children, according to numerous news reports.
Joseph Patterson was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery of an infant Friday morning, just hours before the unnamed boy died at a hospital in Sioux Falls, N.D., according to the Augus Leader.
Prosecutors and local police have not released the boy’s name or identified his mother; court documents show the boy’s birth date and his initials as T.R.R.
Patterson made his first court appearance Friday in the city of Canton, where a judge set bond at $750,000. He was initially charged with aggravated assault on a child, but those charges will likely be replaced with something more serious since the victim has died.
Here are more details on Patterson’s history of domestic violence, according to the Augus Leader:
He was indicted in June 2012 on several counts of simple assault involving an ex-girlfriend and her 3-year-old son, and later was charged for violating a no-contact order. He was sentenced to one year in jail for both cases but that time was suspended on the condition he attend domestic violence counseling.
The victim in that case — who is not the mother of T.R.R. — said in a request for a protection order that Patterson had spanked her 3-year-old so hard for misbehaving in church that he needed ice for welts on his buttocks. When she got angry with him for it, she wrote, Patterson made the children go to their rooms, then pulled the shades, grabbed her by the throat and waved his fist in her face.
He stopped when their infant son began to cry.
“He has (threatened) to kill me multiple times,” she wrote.
The woman asked for temporary protection orders against him twice in Minnehaha County prior to the birth of their son, who was in her custody when T.R.R. was injured Wednesday.
A different woman sought a protection order against Patterson in 2004 in Jackson County, where he attended high school.
In court on Friday, Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman asked a judge to revoke the terms of Patterson’s suspended sentence on the two domestic abuse cases. Judge Stuart Tiede instead set a revocation hearing for Oct. 30.
During bond arguments, Wollman called Patterson a danger to the community and a risk to flee if released on bail. Wollman asked for a $750,000 cash bond, and the judge agreed.
Patterson was home alone with Peterson’s 2-year-old son when he called 911 Wednesday, but Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens said it was clear the boy’s injuries were not an accident and consistent with abuse, according the Pioneer Press. Clemens said the relationship between Patterson and the mother was ”fairly new.”
According to TMZ, Peterson only realized the boy was his recently when the child’s mother began seeking child support from an ex whom she believed to be the dad. When the paternity test came up negative, she reached out to Peterson who reportedly did not deny being the boy’s father.
He had planned to visit the boy at the end of this month, but visited him for the first time Thursday when he was on life support.
Peterson was active Sunday in the Minnesota Vikings‘ game against the Carolina Panthers.